Standards of Care: For the Addiction Specialist Physician
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) developed Standards of Care: For the Addiction Specialist Physician. Standards of care are outlined in six areas: assessment and diagnosis; withdrawal management; treatment planning; treatment management; care transitions and care coordination; and continuing care management. Even though North Carolina has 49 ASAM physicians, not all physicians who provide treatment and care of substance use disorders are members of ASAM. They would find this guideline to be useful as well.
Alcohol-Attributable Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost — 11 States, 2006–2010
According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the March 13 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death and years of potential life lost in the 11 states that were studied. North Carolina was one of the states that contributed to the sample and fell in the middle of average annual alcohol-attributed death rate of 28.5, compared to New Mexico at 50.9 and Utah at 22.4. The median death rate for North Carolina was highest for American Indian and Alaska Natives (35.2), followed by African Americans (29.3), white non-Hispanic (28.6), white Hispanic (20.5), and Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (8.8). According to the study, a median of 1,600 deaths and 43,000 years of life lost annually are due to excessive drinking. About 70% of these deaths and 80% of the years of life lost involved working-aged adults, on pages 213-216.
Resources on Teen Substance Use
Common Sense for Drug Policy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating its readership about drug policies, hosts a website that provides research, statistics, and resources on substance use by youth. It may be particularly useful for those interested in preparing grant applications or educational materials for legislators. For example, current posts include prevalence rates, lifetime use of specific illegal drugs, and availability of specific drugs.
CASA of Columbia University offers useful reports and other publications on addiction prevention and substance abuse. In 2011, it released the report, Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem.